Allegations of sexual abuse at Anne Arundel County Catholic school

Staff members suspended from Msgr. Slade School

GLEN BURNIE, Md. - Staff members from a Catholic elementary school in Anne Arundel County have been suspended following an allegation of sexual abuse.

Parents from the Monsignor Slade Catholic School in Glen Burnie found out about the allegations this week.

A former student came to police and said he or she had been abused at the school in the mid-2000s.

Neither police nor the Archdiocese of Baltimore has confirmed how many staff members the allegations involve -- only that more than one has been suspended.

They've also not said whether the suspended staff members are clergy or lay employees

"We can confirm that there has been an allegation of inappropriate contact between staff members and a former student at the school," said Lt. T.J. Smith, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

There is still no word on the current age of the accuser or whether the accusation came from a boy or a girl.

The Monsignor Slade Catholic School serves children of both sexes from kindergarten through eighth grade.

"A former student made contact with the Anne Arundel County Police, and the Anne Arundel County Criminal Investigation Division has taken over the investigation," Lt. Smith said.

The superintendent for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Schools released a statement, which reads in part: "Anne Arundel County police officers were on the campus of Msgr. Slade school yesterday afternoon.  The police conducted a search in connection with an allegation from a former student who alleges being the victim of sexual abuse at the school in the mid-2000s."

The statement went on to indicate that an assistant principal school -- Robert Ritz -- has been charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  Police would not confirm whether that arrest was related to the initial allegation from the former student.

If you have any information that might help police you're asked to call the Anne Arundel County Police Department at (410) 222-8610.

Statement from Archdiocese Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson:

"As indicated in the email sent to all school families and staff yesterday evening, Anne Arundel County Police officers were on the campus of Msgr. Slade School yesterday afternoon.  The police conducted a search in connection with an allegation from a former student who alleges being the victim of sexual abuse at the school in the mid-2000s.  The police indicate that their investigation is ongoing and no charges related to the sexual abuse allegation have been filed at this time.  We appreciate that you may desire more information about this matter.  Because the Archdiocese of Baltimore's policy is to cooperate and not interfere with such investigations, Msgr. Slade School and the Archdiocese are in close communication with the authorities and will await further information from them before communicating further about this matter.  Anyone with information relating to this matter is encouraged to call Anne Arundel Police at 410-222-8610.  The individuals who are the subject of the investigation have been suspended until a determination is made concerning the veracity of the allegations.

We also learned from police today that early Wednesday police charged assistant principal, Mr. Robert Ritz, with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his home.".

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